Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shamrock Marathon Race Report

How not to run a marathon:
1. Get sick with flu about 3-1/2 weeks before race, take week off and start taper early.
2. Ease back into training for last few real workouts, realize that from flu that after 35-40 minutes of even light training you feel whipped with no energy.
3. Recover to 90% by weekend before race. Do easy 2 hour bike ride and realize it's good that you didn't completely poop out after 35-40 minutes like in #2 above.
4. Get sick, again, with sinus cold three days before race. Take Zicam, vitamin c and lots of oranges for 2-3 days.
5. Wake up race day feeling so-so, take one last shot of Zicam at 5 am, go to start and sleep in car in 45 degree rain for 2 hours.
6. Start out with your projected pace group based on last 4 months of training, no matter that you've been sick off and on for 3 weeks. Run what feels like an easy first 5k (21 and change), 10k (43 flat) and half (1:36).
7. No matter how easy the first 10-12 miles feel do the right thing and resist the urge to go off the front with others that leave the 3:10 group.
8. Hit the 'wall' at mile 14 when the last 3 weeks catch up to you and the body says, hey, I'm still sick, WTF are you doing running in crappy, windy weather.
9. Spend the next 12 miles doing a slow trot while periodically blowing snot rockets and trying to catch your breath/clear your sinuses. Become unable to keep pace and heart rate up and start to get cold and spend the next two hours shivering.
10. Wait for the 3:20 group to catch up to you, try to hang with them for a mile or two, body again reminds you of being sick and says no way.
11. Repeat #10 with the 3:30 group. Realize that the last long run you did in training was 22 miles of pure hills at a faster pace than what you are trying to run now and that felt easy. Try to use that logic to argue with your body and convince it to keep with the 3:30 runners. Body again says no.
12. Realize you are sick/defeated and are probably doing more harm than good. Think about dnf'ing, but find poor guy cramping that was shooting for a 3 hr race and is now just trying to finish. Shout him words of encouragement as you pass him, then have him do the same to you as he passes you back. Repeat for the final 5-6 miles.
13. Struggle in to a 2:03 second half for a 3:39 run, or about 20-30 minutes slower than planned.
14. Log it as a long training run, be happy with the splits for the first half, move on.

That pretty much sums it up.

Shamrock Sportsfest 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

2008 So far...

Some 'stats' from 2008 so far:

This Week This Month Year to Date
Actual Time 2:48 4:42 72:29
Swim 3200 yd 3200 yd 40080 yd
Bike 20 mi 20 mi 348.5 mi
Run 6.3 mi 20.6 mi 284.4 mi
XC-Ski 0 mi 0 mi 16 mi
Race 0 mi 0 mi 5 mi

Run is way ahead of where it was last year at this time. Here is a comparison of miles per week for the same time period from last year to this year:

Nov 2006-March 2007
Nov 2007-March 2008

Many more miles put in this year vs last year. Only had 1-2 30+ mile weeks last year, so far this year I've had 7 weeks of 40-50 miles. Of course most of this has been in getting ready for the Shamrock Marathon March 16th.

In addition to all the miles, long runs have been up 21 miles. And once mid Feb came around some interval/speed work was added that included:

A half marathon training run in 1:30:08.

Interval run of 7 1-mile repeats with 1 minute rest in between. Ran the first at 6:20 and the last at 6:05, each mile was faster than the first.

The only setback so far this year has been a cold that derailed my last week of February and basically had me start the taper 1 week early for the Shamrock marathon.

Overall the run is much improved from the last two years, which should make for a fun season.

Friday, March 7, 2008

2007 Recap

After signing up for a sprint tri on a whim in june of 2006, suffering my way to a 5:45 half Ironman that fall and signing up for IM Wisconsin in 2007 I was really looking forward to 2007 as my first full season of triathlon.

2007 started out on the wrong foot, literally. On an easy recovery week run in late December or early January I started to get a sore pain in my right heel. By the end of the run and later that day I could hardly walk, and a week later I was diagnosed with a mild tear at the insertion of my right achilles. I took it easy, lots of water jogging and elepticals January through March, and started running again after a couple of months. But the heel was never 100% last year and as a result it hampered my already limited running all year.

Regardless I did a few races and improved my fitness. During this time I was also part of a group coached program building up to IM Wisconsin in Sept of 2007. This would be my first full IM, and first marathon too.

Some of the highlights/results from 2007 were:

April 2007 - 25th out of 174 in a 20k time trial. Avg speed was 25.13, which considering up to that point I had done nothing but base work on the bike was pretty cool.

June 2007-16th out of 131 in an olympic triathlon. Time was 2:12. Had the 13th fastest bike split and was suffering from a stomach flu at the time so I know I could have gone faster.

July 2007- 5:17 in the Mountaineer half ironaman in Morgantown WV. A 28 minute swim, 2:40 bike on a hilly course and a good first half of the run until lack of run miles caught up to me. A 30 minute improvement from my previous half ironman time from the previous year.

July 2007-Quad Games bike tt, 20k on a rolling course, 11th out of 396 participants, 24.93 mph at the end of a tough week of training.

September 2007, IM Wisconsin, 11:45. 497 out of 2,209. Good swim (1:03), decent bike (5:50) but the lack of long runs and overall lack of running miles limited me to a 4:35 marathon.

Signed up for IMWI 2008 the next day. Took a month off and then was reading a race report from a guy on Slowtwitch.com that actually ended up finishing 3 seconds ahead of me at IMWI. In his report he praised his coach, John Hirsch. After checking out his coach's website I decided to contact John about coaching. After a lengthy phone call I decided this guy was the real deal and really seemed to care about his athletes and then signed up for his CREW.

After a pretty easy October John and I decided on a winter run focus that would culminate in a spring marathon. My training plan as laid out by John can be seen here.